Organisations talk about how and why they support Clemente.

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Mission Australia is proud to be a foundation partner with ACU in Catalyst-Clemente Surry Hills —  the longest running Clemente program in Australia. Catalyst-Clemente is about overcoming serious challenges such as social exclusion and isolation from learning and community participation. There are so many ways that community and business organisations can contribute to Clemente Australia such as providing venues for lectures and tutorials, access to computers and internet, administration and coordination, recruitment and training of learning partners and identifying students.
 
We know from experience the importance of embedding education programs such as Clemente in a network of social, health and welfare services to provide holistic support to the students who face many life challenges. When recruiting students, we prioritise their willingness and excitement to learn, we don’t discriminate.
 
We hear time and time again from everyone involved in Catalyst-Clemente — students, lecturers, learning partners and administrators — how deeply the program touches and enriches their lives. I encourage other partner organisations to join the Clemente community and experience the rewards your contribution will bring.
Diana Jazic OAM 
Program Manager, Mission Australia Centre, Sydney  
Visit Mission Australia

My wife Cathy encouraged me to join the St Vincent De Paul Society in 2014 after I retired as a partner of global advisory firm PwC. I was attracted to the Society because of their focus on a “hand up not a hand out” ethos.

The Society was asked to chair the Clemente committee in 2016. I was delighted to be involved in this great programme because it offers students a gateway to grow self- confidence and demonstrate their personal and academic capabilities.

We have great partners and contributors to the success of the programme. If anyone has a belief in the importance of education offering the freedom to those who have missed out in their earlier education experience then this is a real and successful programme offering a hand up. 

Mr Roger McComiskie, Chair of Brisbane Clemente Advisory Committee

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Clemente has been an extraordinary inspiration to me. I have treasured those occasions when I have taught in the program. Clemente has helped me to learn the art of listening and the love of teaching all over again. I am immensely proud of what we've achieved together. It is a delight also to see students progress in their university studies as a result of Clemente programs at ACU and Federation University Australia. Furthermore it has reminded me of the responsibility we all bear to remember what positive impact we can have on people. 
Associate Professor Jeremy Smith
Federation University, Ballarat 

Education has been an integral part of the mission and ministry of the Sisters of Mercy since the foundation of the Congregation. We believe that education is a powerful tool in assisting people in overcoming poverty and oppression and of engaging with society in meaningful ways. Education makes a difference in people’s lives and in society, and Clemente is a valuable programme in making this become a reality for many people in Brisbane. It can help give meaning to people’s lives and contribute to their sense of self-worth in their relationships with others.

There have been many success stories during the ten years of the Clemente programme in Brisbane. One student has completed a Bachelor Degree in Politics and is currently undertaking a Masters in Economics. His ambition is to do a PhD in the future. Another who was an alcoholic has not had a drink since the night before he began Clemente, because he saw the programme offering him a better quality of life. A woman says that the Clemente programme has given her the confidence to make some decisions in her own right and to express her opinions about issues concerning the family and society.

The Sisters of Mercy of the Brisbane Congregation contribute financially each year to the Clemente program conducted out of ACU Banyo Campus. Some Sisters also volunteer as learning partners.

Sr Catherine Reuter
Congregation Leader, Sisters of Mercy Brisbane Congregation

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